(a) The Department of Health and Human Services and financial institutions doing business in this State shall enter into mutual agreements for the purpose of facilitating the enforcement of child support obligations. The agreements shall provide for the development and operation of a data match system that will enable the financial institutions to provide to the Department on a quarterly basis the information required under G.S. 110-139(d). Financial institutions shall provide the information upon certification by the Department that the person about whom the information is requested is subject to a child support order and the information is necessary to enforce the order. The Department may pay a reasonable fee to the financial institution for conducting the data match required under this section provided that the fee shall not exceed the actual costs incurred by the financial institution to conduct the match.
(b) A financial institution shall not be liable under any State law, including but not limited to Chapter 53B of the General Statutes, for disclosure of information to the State child support agency under this section, and for any other action taken by the financial institution in good faith to comply with this section or with G.S. 110-139.
(b1) The Department of Health and Human Services Child Support Enforcement Agency may notify any financial institution doing business in this State that an obligor who maintains an identified account with the financial institution has a child support obligation that may be eligible for levy on the account in an amount that satisfies some or all of the amount of unpaid support owed. In order to be able to attach a lien on and levy an obligor's account, the amount of unpaid support owed shall be an amount not less than the amount of support owed for six months or one thousand dollars ($1,000), whichever is less.
Upon certification of the amount of unpaid support owed in accordance with G.S. 44-86(c), the Child Support Agency shall serve or cause to be served upon the obligor, and when the matched account is owned jointly, any other nonliable owner of the account, and the financial institution a notice as provided by this subsection. The notice shall include the name of the obligor, the financial institution where the account is located, the account number of the account to be levied to satisfy the lien, the certified amount of unpaid support, information for the obligor or account owner on how to remove the lien or contest the lien in order to avoid the levy, and a copy of the applicable law, G.S. 110-139.2. The notice shall be served on the obligor, and any nonliable account owner, in any manner provided in Rule 4 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. The financial institution shall be served notice in accordance with Rule 5 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. Upon service of the notice, the financial institution shall proceed in the following manner:
(1) Immediately attach a lien to the identified account.
(2) Notify the Child Support Agency of the balance of the account and date of the lien or that the account does not meet the requirement for levy under this subsection.
In order for an obligor or account owner to contest the lien, within 10 days after the obligor or account owner is served with the notice, the obligor or account owner shall send written notice of the basis of the contest to the Child Support Agency and shall request a hearing before the district court in the county where the support order was entered. The obligor account holder may contest the lien only on the basis that the amount owed is an amount less than the amount of support owed for six months, or is less than one thousand dollars ($1,000), whichever is less, or the contesting party is not the person subject to the court order of support. The district court may assess court costs against the nonprevailing party. If no response is received from the obligor or account owner within 10 days of the service of the notice, the Child Support Agency shall notify the financial institution to submit payment, up to the total amount of the child support arrears, if available. This amount is to be applied to the debt of the obligor.
A financial institution shall not be liable to any person for complying in good faith with this subsection. The remedy set forth in this section shall be in addition to all other remedies available to the State for the reduction of the obligor's child support arrears. This remedy shall not prevent the State from taking any and all other concurrent measures available by law.
This levy procedure is to be available for direct use by all states' child support programs to financial institutions in this State without involvement of the Department.
(c) As used in this subdivision, a financial institution includes federal, State, commercial, or savings banks, savings and loan associations and cooperative banks, federal or State chartered credit unions, benefit associations, insurance companies, safe deposit companies, money market mutual funds, and investment companies doing business in this State or incorporated under the laws of this State. (1997-433, s. 9; 1997-443, s. 11A.122; 1998-17, s. 1; 2003-288, s. 4; 2004-203, s. 42; 2005-389, s. 5.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014